James Duffy

I ordered a new bike

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After months of research, I finally decided to invest in a Trek Allant+ 8s e-bike. My goal is to use this electric bicycle for commuting to work and navigating the city, as well as for a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Back in college, I didn’t own a car and had a strong aversion to driving. I only acquired my driver’s license at 18, and then didn’t drive again for nearly half a decade. My main modes of transportation during that time were my Specialized Sirrus Sport and, more frequently, my modified State Bike fixie.

Upon graduating and moving to San Francisco, my commuting habits shifted to using public transportation for work and a car for weekend errands. Although I kept my bikes, they’ve been gathering dust for years. I’ve only ridden a bike in the city a few times, mainly due to safety concerns and my own apprehension about navigating the busy streets. Despite my familiarity with biking in Turlock, San Francisco’s urban environment presents a vastly different and more challenging landscape.

With each job or office change, my commute has grown longer. My daily public transportation commute now takes roughly an hour under favorable conditions. However, 2-3 times a month, unexpected issues with the train can extend this to 90 minutes or more, each way.

A conservative estimate suggests that biking from the Outer Sunset to my office in SOMA would take around 40 minutes. By using an e-bike, I could potentially save 20 minutes per commute, and possibly as much as 40-50 minutes daily. This amounts to 3.5 to 4 hours a week that would otherwise be spent on trains.

I’ve been eyeing e-bikes for quite some time and have followed the development of the Allant+ series since its announcement last year. While there aren’t many reviews available yet, early adopters seem pleased with their purchases. I’ve tried a few Jump electric bikes and Lyft bikes, and I find them to be efficient and often faster than trains or buses. When my partner Aubrey and I visited the Trek store to test the Allant+ 8s, it felt like a magical experience that took me back to my childhood.

I am eager to rekindle my love for cycling, which was once a significant part of my identity. The Allant+ bikes are still relatively new, so I had to place a special order. I expect to pick up my e-bike from the store in the next week or two.

It’s going to be a long couple of weeks to wait until I can pick up the bike.